FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: How to watch NBA athletes suiting up to represent their nations

Some of the biggest global NBA stars will be hitting the court for Window 4 of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers taking place 22-30 August 2022. From Nikola Jokic to Josh Okogie, find out the latest on the men to have received the call up. 

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The second round of the 2023 FIBA basketball World Cup qualifiers will shortly be underway.

Window 4, running from 22-30 August 2022, will see the 60 remaining countries across the respective regions continue to do battle as they look for a place at next year’s men's world cup co-hosted by Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Securing a ticket is no easy task.

All teams are now in two groups of six, except for the European countries which have been divided into four groups of six. They must continue to win games to finish as high as possible in their groups to stand a chance of making it to the world cup.

Given there is so much at stake, many countries have raided their talent pools and sent invites to their best to help bolster their bids. And with the National Basketball Association (NBA) season not due to tip off until October 18, those that compete in the United States’ top league are kitting out in their numbers for a slice of international glory.

As the clock counts down to the start of the window most teams have revealed who they have invited into their long squads and there are a few names followers of the NBA will be more than familiar with.

Below, we run the rule over some of the headline names ahead of the start of Window 4.

Note: final rosters will be confirmed after technical meetings which take place before the start of each game.

MORE: 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: Window 4 preview, schedules and stars to watch

Giannis Antetokounmpo in action for Greece at the 2019 FIBA World Cup
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

1- Giannis Antetokounmpo – Greece

Two-time NBA MVP and championship winner with Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the crown jewel in Greece’s roster for the world cup qualifiers and EuroBasket taking place straight after.

The 2.11m giant, known fondly as the ‘Greek freak’, comes into the fold to try and bolster his country’s chances at getting to another worlds having previously competed in the showpiece event back in 2019.

For those wondering how the 27-year-old power forward is intending to approach national duty, Antetokounmpo was instrumental to Greece’s victory over current world champions Spain in a friendly organised ahead of the qualifiers.

On his 50th appearance, Antetokounmpo put up 31 points in just 20 minutes to produce his highest ever points performance with Greek squad making seven out of 10 free throws, nine out of 10 two-points and two of three three-point shots.

Joining Giannis will be Dallas Mavericks guard Tyler Dorsey as well as Kostas and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

2- Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier – France

France will have a roster packed with NBA stars for qualifying and EuroBasket thereafter.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists boast a squad featuring newly signed Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert, New York Knicks’ Evan Fournier, Atlanta Hawks’ Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Theo Maledon of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Superstar duo, and renowned best friends, Gobert and Fournier have both signalled their intentions to earn France some international silverware to end the nine-year-old drought since the country last won a major basketball title.

Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic during a friendly game between Serbia and Slovenia in August 2022
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

3- Nikola Jokic – Serbia

Two-time reigning NBA MVP when it comes to leading from the front it doesn’t get better than Serbia’s Nikola Jokic.

Having last represented his team at the 2019 FIBA world cup in China, Jokic has declared it his squad's mission to get Serbia to the next event. It's a promise with a lot of expectation attached not least because the Serbs failed to make to the Tokyo Olympics after falling short at the final hurdle against Italy back in 2020.

Jokic, familiarly known as the ‘Joker', will be of vital importance to his country.

This year, in his seventh NBA season, the 27-year-old confirmed his third All-NBA First Team selection in four years; his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance; became the first in NBA history to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists by a single player and received the honour of becoming the 13th back-to-back MVP awarded winner in league history.

Chimezie Metu defends Nicolo Melli at Tokyo 2020 in 2021
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

4- Chimezie Metu and Josh Okogie – Nigeria

Nigeria's D’Tigers will head into the African qualifiers hoping to be reinforced by both Chimezie Metu and Josh Okogie having officially invited both players to the squad.

Metu, of the Sacramento Kings, was tapped on the shoulder after putting in an impressive performance against Uganda in Window 3 while Okogie, who plays for the Phoenix Suns, also received the call.

Should both players make the final roster Nigeria will be hoping they are on best form.

Not only are the team two wins in four games, results they will carry through with them into second round, they will have to take on a so-far unbeaten Cote d’Ivoire in their opening game. They will then face Guinea and Angola.

It will be a tall mountain to climb but for the Nigeria team that made it to Tokyo 2020, securing back-to-back world cup appearances is a point of pride and one they will be fighting for.

Watanabe Yuta in action at the FIBA Asia Cup in July 2022
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

5- Watanabe Yuta – Japan

Toronto Raptors’ star Watanabe Yuta is a name not to be missed on the preliminary roster of Japan.

While the country may have already qualified for 2023 by virtue of being one of the co-hosts of the competition, the Akatsuki Five are still taking the qualifiers seriously which means inviting the big guns like Watanabe.

The 27-year-old picked up an ankle sprain which side-lined him from action at the 2022 Asia Cup last month, but it appears he is now back to full fitness after being named alongside his teammates from the tournament: Hariomoto Tenketsu, Suda Yutaroh, Togashi Yuki, Yoshii Hirotaka, Nishida Yudai, Inoue Soichiro, and Kawamura Yuki.

6- Luka Doncic – Slovenia

Fresh from lighting up Window 3, Slovenian superstar Dallas Mavericks man Luka Doncic will remain in the squad for Window 4 of the world cup qualifiers.

The 24-year-old immediately turned things around for his country back in July lifting Slovenia to two important wins over Sweden and Croatia.

Doncic’s performance over the Scandinavian country was particularly impressive. The point guard put up 31 points, took 10 rebounds and produced six assists to stave off the opposition and win 84-81.

Having made no secret of his ambition to win silverware in his national jersey Doncic, along with Goran Dragic who just signed with the Chicago Bulls, and Denver Nuggets' Vlatko Cancar, will be an important piece of the puzzle for Slovenia as they bid for a world cup spot and to go the distance at EuroBasket shortly after the qualifiers end.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in action for Oklahoma City Thunder
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

7- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Canada

After missing out on Tokyo 2020, Canada have been on a mission to bolster their international basketball program and that has involved guaranteeing the commitment of 14 players until Paris 2024.

Of that 14, which includes Jamal Murray and R.J. Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder has become a standout for his country as they have rolled through every qualifying window undefeated.

Maintaining their winning streak is now the priority for Canada who are committing their resources to Window 4 over and above FIBA’s AmeriCup taking place in September.

Already the MVP of Window 3 Gilgeous-Alexander is growing into his role for Team Canada along with other NBA playing team-mates Kelly Olynyk (Detroit Pistons), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Utah Jazz) and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks) who are expected to join the squad for the next two game-days.

How to watch: 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers Window 4

Some of the games from Window 4 will be available to watch through FIBA’s broadcast partners around the world.

For live video and highlights online fans can view action on Courtside 1891. More information about how you can watch along can be found there.

Some geographical restrictions may apply.


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